Gary McCourry presents the Beer City Saxophone Ensemble at LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids.
“This group performs compositions by bebop great Charlie Parker arranged in a ‘Supersax’ style for 5 saxophones and rhythm section,” explains baritone saxophonist and music instigator Gary McCourry, a gifted bandleader who returned to Grand Rapids after years of performing at the West Point U.S. Military Academy.
“Supersax” was a 1970’s-era Grammy-award winning ensemble performing harmonized versions of Charlie Parker solos. “The Beer City Saxophone Ensemble” includes jazz arrangements of standards, too, such as “Out of Nowhere,” “I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart,” and “It Could Happen to You.”
This concert promises an afternoon of high quality improvisation, driving swing and unmatched musical unity.
Because of the Beer City Saxophone Ensemble’s popularity with musicians they carry one additional saxophonist who switches in during the performance. In Sunday’s concert as part of the Adventuremusic.org series curated by Lazaro Vega, you’ll hear saxophonists McCourry, Mike Lutely, Tom Lockwood, Tom Stansell, Greg Marsden and Bob Nixon, plus a rhythm section including pianist/composer Steve Talaga, bassist Joe Oprea and drummer Tim Froncek. Tom Lockwood, Gary McCourry and Steve Talaga were all part of the Adventure Music Concert Series debut in 2014 when they performed Talaga’s major work inspired by Linda Nemec Foster’s poetry, “Contemplating the Heavens.”